South Floirda Casted Gear Report

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South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby zcoker on April 10th, 2017, 9:05 pm

March was thick with sharks here in South Florida. I spent all of March with casted gear and landed over 30 sharks from various beaches...just casting. I use an 11 foot med/heavy surf rod with 65lb braid. My leaders are short, simple yet effective. Some of the fights were interesting, to say the least. What a blast! Most were Blacktips and Spinners, which I find quite fun, blasting out of the water, as they do, and then skipping like missiles over the surface. They're truly a brutal fish on spinning tackle and are quite rewarding! Plus they're very robust and always swim off lively. At one point, a true monster was lost with #19 wire bitten clean in half! That was a first :shock:

All sharks were released unharmed with no piercings.

Gotta get the bait first. The Bluefish were huge! This one was tail-grabbed by a hungry shark.

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....and even more bait!

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Then I lit up the public beach. Folks were nice, full of questions...especially the girls. I've always said, "Chics Dig Sharks!" Although no one went in the water afterwards LoL

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Some other action. I usually get my sharks from the local jetties at night. Kind of sketchy getting them around the big rocks but sooner mastered it without issue.

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Now, catching Blacktips or Spinners on casted gear can be fun, even Bulls, yes, the fights very fufulling. Buttttt sometimes other stuff comes along that can BLOW YOUR MIND!!!! This HAMMER was pushing 10 feet, and took a LONG time to bring in with a ton of huffing and puffing. IMHO, Hammers are the Top-Guns of LBSF. They can rip ya to shreds! She was released quickly with no glory shot. Just dragged her back in as quickly as possible. She swam off lively with a good kick.

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....and, what can I say, no report is "blessed" unless you get a big FAT Nurse Shark LoL

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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby JustinEdge on April 10th, 2017, 9:21 pm

Great report, nice pics. Way to go on the hammer - yeah, I also don't risk a 'glory shot' on them b/c they're so fragile.
It's amazing how different folks experiences can be. I've found that hammers don't fight very hard (although I haven't caught that many). I have nabbed a lot of tigers, and they also seem to not fight hard. For me, the sandbars and bulls are the ones that put up the stiff resistance. Maybe we've just got some weird sharks up here North of y'all! LOL.
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby zcoker on April 10th, 2017, 9:45 pm

In my experience, Hammers are brutal (at least on the east coast of Florida) especially when they are pushing 10 feet on the other end of a friggin spinning rod!!!! That was totally insane...and unusual.

I was dug in good with the below Hammer on a Penn Senator and it still took almost 2 hours to bring in! The fish took a couple of 1000yd runs to boot, almost spooling me. I've heard from others how the Hammer are, and how they are mostly pursued for their sheer strength and fighting abilities...the ultimate catch. Now I have a renewed respect for them, seriously. Just got to get them back into the water as fast as possible. Yikes!

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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby Jeri on April 11th, 2017, 2:37 am

Great report, it is amazing what fun can be had with long rods, even when targetting smaller sharks - it puts the whole advantage back in the shark's favour. Obviously the 'spoiler' is when something big happens along.

A couple of points from your pictures. With the long handles on your US design surf rods, you run the risk of damaging the 'family jewels' when fighting bigger sharks, no where to effectively place the long butt section. The answer might be how we set up our rods this side of the southern Atlantic. With the reel seat just 8" from the butt end of the rod, and use a fighting belt, then a long handle above the reel seat. This allows you to anchor the butt end of the rod safely, the reel is now in a comfortable position to wind, and the longer upper handle gives you back some leverage.

The disadvantage is that you have to learn to operate the reel with your left hand when casting, as opposed to releasing the line with your right hand. Just a slight change in style, but soon it becomes very effective, and a pleasure to use. Something to perhaps think about as a winter rod project????

Great report again.

Jeri
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby boilermakerjohn on April 11th, 2017, 10:21 am

An easier and cheaper idea than redesigning our rods is a cheap fighting belt.
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby zcoker on April 11th, 2017, 6:40 pm

Jeri wrote:Great report, it is amazing what fun can be had with long rods, even when targetting smaller sharks - it puts the whole advantage back in the shark's favour. Obviously the 'spoiler' is when something big happens along.

A couple of points from your pictures. With the long handles on your US design surf rods, you run the risk of damaging the 'family jewels' when fighting bigger sharks, no where to effectively place the long butt section. The answer might be how we set up our rods this side of the southern Atlantic. With the reel seat just 8" from the butt end of the rod, and use a fighting belt, then a long handle above the reel seat. This allows you to anchor the butt end of the rod safely, the reel is now in a comfortable position to wind, and the longer upper handle gives you back some leverage.

The disadvantage is that you have to learn to operate the reel with your left hand when casting, as opposed to releasing the line with your right hand. Just a slight change in style, but soon it becomes very effective, and a pleasure to use. Something to perhaps think about as a winter rod project????

Great report again.

Jeri


Good points. My big beach rod was custom made with a Gator 10ft unlimited blank. I use the rod on bridges and the long butt is necessary to "see-saw" the fish to subdue it. Basically, the rod is rested on the railing (with a protective cover like clear tubing) and then you sit on the butt. Down here in South Florida sharks are massive around bridges. Not to uncommon to see or hear of 14 footers off the Long Key Bridge in the Florida Keys. Best way to tackle those monsters is with the long rod with long butt, easier to drag to the landing zone as well as keep out of the pilings and prevent getting cutoff. I've hooked some massive sharks on bridges with the shorter rods, shorter butts and lost them quickly, even with an Avet 80 at full drag with 200lb test mainline...they're that strong and that big. So it's sort of a duel purpose setup that works rather well for me, even with the long butt. On the beach, it sits so high in the spike, keeping the line way out of the wash zone. I''ll have to experiment with different butt lengths for basic surf casting rods. Just don't know if I could ever get used to releasing left handed! Thanks for the tips.
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby Jeri on April 12th, 2017, 4:20 am

I take your points about being used on bridges, etc. We have just got used to using the left hand for releasing the line off reels, or even the 'bionic finger' as seen on the rod in the picture. The long handle and leverage is not lost, just changed around.

For our more deliberate surf and rock platform fishingm, the 'reel low' situation is a huge comfort factor, especially when used with a fighting belt. The factor of getting used to left hand release takes a little while, but once accomplished it becomes second nature.

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Just some of the differences being used by different people around the world to achieve the same objective. Unfortunately we don't have any bridges and very few piers, so all our fishing starts and ends around casting ability, and low reel is a definte bonus, as during the final power stage of the cast, gravity is helping with pulling the reel and end of the rod down. Small things can make a big difference, but it depends on where your priorities are focussed.

Cheers from sunny Africa

Jeri
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby zcoker on April 12th, 2017, 4:57 pm

Jeri wrote:I take your points about being used on bridges, etc. We have just got used to using the left hand for releasing the line off reels, or even the 'bionic finger' as seen on the rod in the picture. The long handle and leverage is not lost, just changed around.

For our more deliberate surf and rock platform fishingm, the 'reel low' situation is a huge comfort factor, especially when used with a fighting belt. The factor of getting used to left hand release takes a little while, but once accomplished it becomes second nature.

Image

Just some of the differences being used by different people around the world to achieve the same objective. Unfortunately we don't have any bridges and very few piers, so all our fishing starts and ends around casting ability, and low reel is a definte bonus, as during the final power stage of the cast, gravity is helping with pulling the reel and end of the rod down. Small things can make a big difference, but it depends on where your priorities are focussed.

Cheers from sunny Africa

Jeri


Most sharks that I catch are a very close to shore, so long distances aren't necessary. Southeast Florida is just like that. Sometimes, even, I can just drop the bait in the first gut and get a monster. During our annual Blacktip migration, the sharks sometimes chase the mullet right onto the beach, jumping onto the sand after them. Even hit lures! If I really need great distance, well, I have Yak for that LoL.

In any case, I can understand where distance matters all the little things count, especially if it's very shallow and the only way to even fish is to have it slung out there a ways. As you said, it all depends on location and what one is after, adjusting to those conditions to make it work. For the most, if I have a wild ride with a big fish that goes a long time and gets tiring and uncomfortable, and even if I have a harness, I do it the old fashion way and use the sand.
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby oncebitten on April 14th, 2017, 10:24 am

Those Bronzies are So Cool 8-)
Lo the Angler, he riseth early and waketh the whole household.

Great and many are his preperations....And when the day is long done, he returneth, smelling of strong drink - and the Truth is not in Him!
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Re: South Floirda Casted Gear Report

Postby elwinsharp on June 29th, 2017, 3:30 pm

Just trying to catch up on all the great reports.
This trip looked like as good as it gets on casted gear. No stop action and a Hammer to boot! My biggest hammer was 9' on a Penn 12/0 and it is still to date the best fight I have had or seen. Great job on landing it!. Very much enjoyed your report.
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